Kelso Quarry Park joins an exclusive group of rehabilitated former pits and quarries awarded with the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s (OSSGA) Bronze Plaque. The association’s highest honour, only 21 sites in Ontario have earned this distinction since it was established in 1975.
“This represents the best of the best among the thousands of rehabilitated former aggregate extraction sites in the province,” said Norm Cheesman, Executive Director of OSSGA. “The diverse ecosystem that has been created in the heart of the Niagara Escarpment is why this site is so exceptional.”
The Milton Limestone Quarry that existed at this site was one of the largest producers of limestone and other aggregate resources in Canada. “Approximately 1 million tonnes per year of high quality aggregate was extracted here to build important projects including the Highways 401 and the 407, and the Toronto Pearson International Airport,” says Cheesman. “Once extraction was complete, the quarry owners worked with the Town of Milton and Conservation Halton to help create this exceptional space.”
Other well-known public spaces that have earned the OSSGA Bronze Plaque distinction in the past include the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, the Wainfleet Wetlands in Niagara, the Don Valley Brick Works Park in Toronto and St. Marys Swimming Quarry. Kerncliff Park in Burlington also earned the award in 2005, making this the second Bronze Plaque that Conservation Halton been involved with.
“Conservation Halton is honoured to receive this award and thankful for the opportunity to rehabilitate the quarry as part of the Conservation Halton parks network,” said Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer of Conservation Halton. “We have spent more than 20 years working with Milton Limestone Quarry and other partners, even before the land was donated, and we are committed to its continued rehabilitation, as Kelso Quarry Park, so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. The ecological value that’s been created here is a result of countless hours spent by Conservation Halton staff and hundreds of community volunteers.”
The rehabilitation work done at Kelso Quarry Park includes new wetlands, snake and fish habitats, a protected section of the escarpment, where 1,000-year-old cedars can be found, and trails that run along the side of the property. This project is an example of how former pits and quarries can be turned into natural spaces that complement the surrounding landscape and provide opportunities for community enjoyment.
The Bronze Plaque was affixed to a large, decorative stone marker that was installed last week. It was inaugurated at a ceremony on July 26th, 2018.
About Conservation Halton
Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science based programs and services.
About the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
The Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) is a non-profit industry association representing over 280 stone, sand, gravel, and crushed stone producers and suppliers of valuable industry products and services. Collectively, our members supply the majority of the approximately 164 million tonnes of aggregate consumed annually in the province to build and maintain Ontario’s infrastructure needs. Stone, sand and gravel help create the high standard of living we enjoy in Ontario. OSSGA works in partnership with government and stakeholders to promote a safe and competitive aggregate industry.